Experienced Professionals’ CVs
A two-page CV is also preferred for experienced candidates (with the exception of pilot recruitment where a one-page CV is preferred).
Even if you have a lot of experience and feel that it will be impossible fit this into two pages, most people find they can by focussing on the best examples of their achievements which are often from their most recent experience. For some roles, particularly academic or research-based, it may be acceptable to include an appendix which lists things such as publications or research papers you have done, key projects etc.
If you are leaving the military and have a long list of postings it may be best to group these with minimal information in the Employment section, and focus on key achievements and soft skills at the start of your CV to ensure they stand out.
You may find that you can summarise your experience adequately without losing key points by clever use of language, bullet points etc. If you find the two-page version very difficult, you may be justified in using more pages, but only for very exceptional experience.
A clear, logical structure is vital. If you are within about five years of graduation from a first degree, you can still use the same order as that of the student/graduate CV (i.e. education before employment etc.). If you have more experience, or feel that your experience now outweighs your qualifications, the following structure is recommended:
- Personal details
- Objective/Personal Profile
- Skills and Key Achievements
- Employment History
- Education and Qualifications
- Leisure and Other Information
- Name; address; e-mail; phone/mobile numbers; Linked In; driving licence.
You could present this rather like headed paper, although vital information, it’s not interesting and so shouldn’t take up too much space. Check your e-mail address and mobile number – are you using your current employer’s?!
Often neglected from CVs, you can actually increase your appeal to employers with a two/three-line introduction which is targeted to the employer in question. They can also be useful if you are trying to move into a new field, or a more senior role.
- Introduce yourself e.g. “Project Manager in … of … with [number] years’ experience in [field]”; or “ Senior Engineer with specialist knowledge of … ’
- Mention the type of position you are seeking e.g. “Now seeking …”
- Which field – e.g. aerodynamics, engine research, airport marketing etc.
- Type of company e.g global manufacturer, small company, regional airport etc.
- Your aims e.g. reflect your award of Chartered Engineering status/move up the corporate ladder, transfer into relevant field etc.
Skills and Achievements
Introducing a summary of your key skills and achievements on the first page of your CV rather than embedding among various job roles can help highlight your experience and capabilities and have greater impact. Using a ‘grid’ layout (but without outlines) can help organise these and give the recruiter a rapid insight into your transferable skills.
Visit our Soft Skills page for more advice.
Use reverse chronological order:
Clear presentation of dates in separate margin on left or right hand side
- Job title, employer name, indicate location
- Summarise duties and responsibilities
- List key achievements
This may be the time to reflect on your employment and decide if you can leave out any jobs such as part-time jobs you did as a student, if your post-study experience now helps to sell you better.
Education and Qualifications
- Reverse chronological order
- Clear presentation of dates (as above)
- Course title, institute name, location (full address not necessary)
- Indicate key modules studied which relate to the role/your career objective, possibly good grades
- Master’s/Final year project/dissertation – title, summary of research objective
You may wish to divide this section in to two parts separating academic from professional training, or may be happy to simply list in reverse date order.
- A levels/equivalent and institute/school name and location
- GCSEs/equivalent – but summarise, your recent qualifications are more important – and institute/school name and location. (A levels, GSCEs and equivalent become less relevant with experience.)
Leisure and Other Information
Are you sporty? An active member of a professional body? Active in your local community? Involved in an interesting project? Represent your field in an employer or academic group? You may have used some of these examples in the skills section. List them briefly here to confirm any skills examples, or add ‘ingredients’ for possible interview questions.
If you are working, you may not wish to include your referees here. If so, write here ‘References available upon request’. If you are not working, and have enough space, then you can include two people here who can support the statements on your CV such as previous employers, former university academics etc. This helps to demonstrate the ease at which the statements you have made can be verified.
Provide their name, job title, address, e-mail and telephone number. Write side-by-side or use one line for each if space is tight.